Tequila is many things to different people. Something to savour, something to avoid, something to drink quickly, something to drink slowly or even a place to live.
Here, when we ask “What is Tequila?” we are talking about a alcoholic spirit made in Mexico. A spirit made exclusively of Blue Weber Agave, a plant native to the region. A spirit that is known and loved all over the world.
The Blue Agave plant can take 12 years to grow and mature. This plant is cultivated, harvested, roasted, macerated, fermented and distilled… to create the alcoholic liquid we call tequila.
This is the same for mezcal, so tequila can actually be considered a type of mezcal.
Like champagne, to be called tequila, it must follow some rules and regulations. Tequila (and Mezcal) is a protected product of Mexico.
General guidelines for Tequila
Must be produced in designated districts of Mexico
Must only use Blue Weber Agave
Must be a minimum of 51% Tequila spirit
Must be bottled in Mexico
Must be made by a recognised distillery
These are just a few of the many rules but demonstrate that tequila is not just another alcoholic spirit.
Tequila has a distinct flavour compared to other spirits. It carries the unique flavour of the agave plant. Tequila can be described as follows:
Top of the throat warmth
Types of Tequila
Tequila, when it has just been distilled, is clear and transparent in colour. It is the truest, unadulterated taste of fermented agave. When this is bottled, it is called “Blanco”.
Tequila can then be rested, much like whiskey, in barrels, usually oak, usually American bourbon, to create the remaining varieties of Tequila – Joven, Reposado, Anejo and Extra Anejo.
Each of these varieties of tequila start as a Blanco and are rested for different periods of time.
Blanco – 0 months resting time
Reposado – 2-12 months rested
Anejo – 12-36 months rested
Extra Anejo – 36+ months rested
Other types of Tequila
Joven – a blend of Blanco and Reposado/Anejo
Mixto – a blend of 51% Tequila and 49% Other Alcohol
The mixto variety of tequila is usually the type of tequila that the majority of people tried in their student days, it has been known to give hangovers and is responsible for putting some people off tequila for life. The bad hangover is usually down to the other ‘cheap grain alcohol’ that is used.
Cheap usually means killer hangover.
Remember, tequila has so many varieties, flavour profiles and uses (sipping, shooting, cocktails). If you give tequila a chance you will probably find the ideal one to suit your tastes.
We hope you now understand a little more about what is tequila.
Please browse the site for further information and inspiration on your tequila journey.